References to the hamlet of Carlevelt or Carnevelt date back to the 13th century, when it was already home to a large fortified farm surrounded by farmland, ponds, meadows and woods. In the 17th century, the estate fell into the hands of a Brussels burgher called Jérôme Van Gindertaelen before becoming, in 1656, the property of a Spaniard nobleman, Don Garcia Osorio y Borgia. Purchased in 1780 by the Villegas de Saint-Pierre Jette family, Karreveld Castle was finally sold in 1930 to the Municipality of Molenbeek, which decided to build on four fifths of the park and retain only three of the original 16 hectares. A velodrome had started operating on the site in 1908, taking over from the one in the Bois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos, which closed that same year. This would remain in operation until the First World War, when the castle was converted into a tavern. Near the velodrome, there were also hangars housing Belgium’s first-ever film studios! The façade and its gable, reflected in the pond, are the only old parts of the castle to survive as the building was heavily restored, or rather rebuilt, from 1954 onwards at the instigation of mayor Edmond Machtens, who wanted to turn it into a luxury hotel for VIP guests at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58). Today, Karreveld Castle plays host to many receptions, celebrations and weddings. It is also the backdrop for Bruxellons! , a festival showcasing the best of the performing arts in Belgium’s French Community. (Listed 10/11/1955)
Family activity: “Where’s Mimir?”: Sun., 13:00 to 17:00. Treasure hunt for children aged 6 and over, with their parents. Come to the porch at the castle entrance to pick up a map for the treasure hunt.
Come and enjoy a family day out, exploring Karreveld Castle, its surroundings and its secrets. Follow the clues around the site to track down Mimir, Alfred Machin’s dearest friend.
Tours: “Karreveld: a castle and park where myth and reality meet”: Sun. at 13:30 and 15:30.
Sun. only, 13:00 to 17:00
Avenue Jean de la Hoese/Jean de la Hoeselaan 3, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean/Sint-Jans-Molenbeek
Guided tours by reservation only